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The Elements of Poetry

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    There are many different, distinctive elements that make up a poem. However many or few can be used as necessary at any specific time by a writer. These parts of a poem consist of imagery, metaphors, rhyme, and structure. A few of these can be seen in Lewis Carroll’s, “Jabberwocky’, Craig Raine’s, “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home”, and R. S. Gw. ynn’s, “Shakespearean Sonnet”. These poems also offer examples of figurative language.

    According to The Writing Lab & the OWL at Purdue and Purdue University (1995-2012), the definition of imagery “is a question that philosophers and poets have asked themselves for thousands of years and have yet to definitively answer. The most widely used definition of an image these days is:” … an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time. ” (Ezra Pound)” Overall, imagery within poetry is a way to engage any of the reader’s five senses. Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll offers imagery within its verses. Although the poem is a nonsense poem it still shows imagery within he made words.

    When reading lines, six and fourteen, readers can identify that the Jabberwock has massive jaws, claws, and reddish orange eyes. Sight is an important part of imagery, but so are sound and touch. Readers can hear that the Jabberwock “burbles” as it attacks in line sixteen. One can hear and feel the force behind the swing of the “vorpal sword” when it went “snicker-snack! ” The figurative language within this poem is important, and it shows by the way Carroll expresses the actions and looks of the characters through imagery. Metaphors are a part of figurative language.

    A metaphor is a figure Of speech where two unrelated ideas or objects that are not usually compared to one another are compared due to an important common factor. Within poetry metaphors can be seen as a basic metaphor, extended metaphors, implied metaphors, and similes. “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home” by Craig Raine shows several examples of metaphors. Books are compared to birds in lines one through six. Raine call them Caxtons, after William Caxton, who brought printing to English literature. The metaphor is extended in lines five and six when the Martian says he has never seen one ly, but instead perches on people’s hands.

    A car is compared to a room in lines thirteen through sixteen. The Martian describes the use of a key to free the world and that a film, or rearview mirror, is used to see anything that was missed. Metaphors are clearly one of the main elements within figurative language. Its presence within this poem offers depth and clearly shows the importance of figurative language. Rhyme and structure are two other important elements when writing a poem. Structure is the organization of content within a poem. There are a few different options of structure and oetic form when writing a poem.

    Sonnets, Tanka, haiku, ballads, sestina, and freeform are a few examples of different forms. These different structures offer dimension to a poem’s theme and meaning. Rhyming or a rhyme scheme is not always present in poetry but it offers a repetitive quality that may be subtle or strong which helps to unify a poem. R. S. Gwynn’s, “Shakespearean Sonnet” provides a great example of both rhyme and structure. usually a sonnet is one stanza that consists of fourteen lines with an abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme. The poem itself is based on Shakespeare’s work and is a Shakespearean sonnet.

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